a guest post by whitney
Hi everyone! I’m Whitney from Love Letters and Lists. I’m so happy that Annie is visiting us down here in Texas.
It’s been just over two years since I moved to Texas. It’s hard to imagine that Nick and I have lived together almost as long in Texas as we did in our native South Carolina. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that we truly are more than a thousand miles away from our families. It’s been quite a struggle, but oddly Texas has started to feel like home.
Still though, it’s been somewhat of a struggle to adjust. You wouldn’t think the culture would be so different, but it really is! Here are some things I’ve had to really make adjustments on:
I know that’s kind of an all encompassing thing, but it really is so different here! There are SO MANY Tex Mex places and lots of Cajun/Creole places as well. Especially in Houston, I had no idea that there were so many diverse cultures here. Of course with that comes lots of delicious restaurants. One of our favorites is Thai. It’s become one of our favorite since moving here!
Anywhere I go here, it seems like it takes FOREVER. Not only are there just too many people for the roads there, but the drivers are AWFUL. There are two categories: those that want to go 30 mph over the speed limit and those that go 20 mph under the speed limit. I’ve also see more drunk drivers and people texting while driving here than anywhere else. I once saw a car going like 30 mph on the interstate and when I passed the car, it was a teenager texting. Not even trying to hide it.
3. “Iced Tea” vs. Sweet Tea
I’m sorry (not sorry) but if you don’t have sweet tea at like 50% of your restaurants, you’re NOT a Southern state. Even though the state drink of South Carolina isn’t sweet tea (it’s milk! did you know that?) I pretty much consider myself a sweet tea connoisseur. It took me a little while to get used to the whole tea situation here. First of all, not everywhere has sweet tea. Excuse me? Not acceptable. Even the Chinese restaurants in South Carolina have that amazing drink. Secondly, let’s talk about how you make sweet tea. The ratio of sugar to tea is VERY important. Calling it sweet tea does NOT mean that it should basically be sugar water with a light tea taste.
Thankfully last summer wasn’t as bad as my first summer here, but it gets HOT here. And even though this winter has been one of the coldest that Texas has had in years, it’s mild in comparison to most of the country. I’m totally cool with 50 degree winter days. 120 degree summer days? Not so much.
5. Personal Space
I don’t know what it is, but when I’m at the grocery store here, people feel the need to breathe down my neck in the checkout line!. I have always put all of my items on the conveyor belt, and wait until the person in front of me has walked away before making my way to the middle of the lane. I do NOT appreciate you gettin’ all up in my business while I’m trying to pay. Until I walk away, stay at the end of the aisle and look at trashy magazines, okay?
6. Rodeo/Cowboy Culture
I’ve totally adjusted to just seeing random people in stores wearing cowboy hats. And if you don’t have cowboy boots, then you just aren’t Texan. (I have a pair from Target. That’s about as crazy as I’m going to get!) Basically the entire city is consumed by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in the month of March. There are concerts every night and there’s a huge fair and livestock show going on all day, every day. Just don’t make a mistake like me and wear flip flops. You gotta rock those boots.
Have you ever been to Texas and observed these? What are some stereotypes that you’ve heard about the state?
Whitney is a South Carolina transplant currently living in Houston with her husband and two fur children. Constantly treading the line between geek and chic, she works in nonprofit performing arts. Some of her loves are monograms, Battlestar Galactica, libraries, and Delta Zeta.